Drummers and singers, Lake Monona Water Walk, 2012.  Photo by Callen Harty.

Drummers and singers, Lake Monona Water Walk, 2012. Photo by Callen Harty.

I beat a drum that beats hundreds of miles away. My heart beats with it. I am one with it. I sing a song with brothers and sisters in another land. Our voices harmonize across the distance. We are separated by miles and joined by our common humanity.

The round dance is a circle. The drum is a circle. The earth is a circle. I am in the circle. I am of the circle and I am the circle.

We are one. All in life is circles–the movement from birth to death, the movement of day into night, the orbiting of souls around the oneness that joins us. In the circle we are each one and each many. We are all part of the oneness.

My struggle is your struggle because we are one. The Native American struggle is the African-American struggle is the queer struggle is the woman’s struggle is the poor person’s struggle and on and on. We are all of the circle. Our struggles and our joys are one.

Oppression does not destroy one people; it destroys us all. Destruction of the earth does not harm one people; it harms us all.

Our circle must be enlarged. There are those who do not know they belong in it. There are those who have chosen to stay outside of it. We must welcome all. We must welcome those who do not know. We must welcome back those who have left the circle of humanity. If we hate them, if we shut them out, then we fail in our duty to be one with all. We must open our arms to them, engage in dialogue, welcome them back home to the core of who they are.

My heart beats with the distant drums. My heart also beats with my distant enemy. As long as anyone is “other” then none of us can be fully human. To end oppression the oppressors must hear and feel the heart beat of those they oppress. To be free we must be one. To be one we must be one.

About Callen Harty

Originally from Shullsburg, Wisconsin Callen Harty is the author of four books and numerous published essays, poems, and articles. His most recent book is The Stronger Pull, a memoir about coming out in a small town in Wisconsin. His first book was My Queer Life, a compilation of over 30 years worth of writing on living life as a queer man. It includes essays, poems, speeches, monologues, and more. Empty Playground: A Survivor's Story, is a memoir about surviving childhood sex abuse. His play, Invisible Boy, is a narrative with poetic elements and is also an autobiographical look as surviving child sex abuse. All are available on (and three of them on Kindle) or can be ordered through local bookstores, He has written almost two dozen plays and 50 monologues that have been produced. Most of them have been produced at Broom Street Theater in Madison, Wisconsin where he started as an actor, writer, and director in 1983. He served as the Artistic Director of the theater from 2005-2010. Monologues he wrote for the Wisconsin Veterans’ Museum won him awards from the Wisconsin Historical Society and the American Association of State and Local History. He has also had essays, poems, and articles published in newspapers and magazines around the country and has taken the top prize in several photo contests. His writing has appeared in Out!, James White Review, Scott Stamp Monthly, Wisconsin State Journal, and elsewhere. He has had several essays published online for Forward Seeking, Life After Hate, and The Progressive. Callen has also been a community activist for many years. He was the co-founder of Young People Caring, UW-Madison’s 10% Society, and Proud Theater. He served as the first President of Young People Caring and as the Artistic Director for Proud Theater for its first five years. He is still an adult mentor for the group. In 2003 he won OutReach’s Man of the Year award for his queer community activism. OutReach is Madison, Wisconsin’s lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community center. He also won a Community Shares of Wisconsin Backyard Hero award for his sex abuse survivor activism work. He has been invited to speak before many community groups, at a roundtable on queer community theater in New York City, and has emceed several events. In 2016, Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault named him their annual Courage Award winner for his activism, writing, and speaking on sexual assault.
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2 Responses to Oneness

  1. wildspiritwolf says:

    Such beautiful wise words. This truly touched my heart, I feel grateful to have found your blog because you speak the truth with such passion. I wrote on my own blog earlier today “We can only dance the sacred dance while we dance to the beat of our own heart, only then do we feel the essence of the Universal force flowing through every living thing. It is then that we begin to understand that we are ALL connected.” I believe that to this, your message on oneness rings true.

    • Callen Harty says:

      Thank you for your kind words and the words I read on your page. I only had time to briefly look it over, but it certainly looks like a page I will enjoy and get much out of as I explore further.

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